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Additional Historical Information That Was Added To The Original Book

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The Red Caboose Page 407
The following is a potpourri or hodgepodge of
miscellaneous bits and pieces of Altoona lore that didn't
easily fit into the previous sections of this book. There isn't
any narrative that links them together. Sometimes dates are
missing. Sad to relate, but newspaper accounts often will
give the day and month and omit the year. We didn't
believe that the extensive research necessary to make such
determinations would have been time well-spent. Your
guess as to the time frame may be as good, if not better,
than ours.
We would beseech readers to identify their photographs and
memories in the future. If they are worth saving, they
should be accompanied by a date, the names of the
principal parties, the location, and the activity involved.
That which is obvious to people as they take pictures or
write stories may be anything but that to the generations
that are to follow.
The reader is encouraged to leaf through the assembled
material at a leisurely pace. We believe that anyone with
even a passing interest in Altoona history will find
something of value.
The Red Caboose Page 408
Invitation to Participate in Red Caboose Project
The Red Caboose
Collecting Altoona's Memories
John R. Thurston
I invite you to join with me and others in an adventure. It's so new that it
doesn't even have a firm and final name. For the time being, I've taken off
on the name of Marian Potter's children book, "The Little Red Caboose."
and called it "The Red Caboose." This prosaic, off-beat title ties together
Altoona's very distant railroading past with the light-hearted fun of writing
and recording "Altoona's Memories," the purpose of this venture.
When contributing memories to our "Caboose," one is said to be
"Caboosing." Come "Ride Wit" us as you "Caboose" with us. Your
involvement in this venture can and should be a source of enjoyment and
personal reward. It is fun to see one's name and writings in print.
Other efforts have been made to record Altoona memories. Gerald A.
Hagen's fine book, "A History of Altoona."(1989) is the definitive source of
such information. Altoonians have already contributed to "The Old Altoona
Public School: A Collection of Memories" (Thurston, 2008), a compilation
of the recollections of students attending that school prior to its destruction
by fire in 1951. A booklet, "Jesse Jensen," Principal, Teacher, and Coach,
Altoona (WI) Public School 1921-1943 (Hoyt and Thurston, 2008)
concentrated on the life of the man who was of vital importance to the
Altoona Public School system for a very long time.
Only the surface of a vast reservoir of Altoona memories has been
scratched. What other memorable, personal Altoona-related events occured
prior to the "1951 Fire" or later on in the 1950's, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s,
1990s, and 2000s? I'm making a special appeal to younger members in our
Altoona population, those who have not been contacted previously, i. e.
ages 15-60+. What memories do you have that were uniquely associated
with an aspect of Altoona at any point in that considerable time period ?
What is happening currently that is special and memorable about the
experience of living in Altoona? How large a part does Altoona now play in
your lives?
While not making too much out of it, there is a serious side to this
venture. Following in the tradition of Studs Terkel, the eminent author who
The Red Caboose Page 409
died just last year, we are "celebrating the uncelebrated," "the 'Joe Six
Packs' of the world." Your memories are celebrating you, your life, your
family/friends/community, and your importance as a representative of "the
common man." You and your memories matter.
Right up front, it should be pointed out that there will be absolutely
no cost to participants as they "Caboose" in this undertaking. All
profits, if any, from any sales of the resulting book will be donated to a
scholarship fund at Altoona High School.
What do I want?
You have only to contribute your Altoona memories. I encourage
you to do just that. The more memories, the merrier. The success of this
venture will be determined by your response and support. You should
not be unduly concerned with proper grammar, punctuation, and the like. In
selecting Altoona-related memories for publication, I am more concerned
with the content of your memories than style. You, and only you, can supply
your memories. If a memory is important to you, it's important to us fellow
"Caboosers." If your memories aren't recorded, they may very well be lost
forever. Within the constraints imposed upon me, I will publish as many
memories as possible.
It would be helpful if you would contact other Altoonians who might
join us in our "Caboose" or provide me with their names and addresses
so that I may contact them.
What form will your contribution take?
While typed copy is preferred, provision will be made for those contributors
who cannot supply typed memories. It would be helpful if you would use
large type (old eyes will be grateful). As any editing of your contribution
will be minimal, it should be submitted in what you consider to be a "final
form," the way that you would like to see your memories in print.
Your contribution should include:
1. A brief biography (250 words or fewer) to acquaint readers with who you
are. Married ladies should include a maiden name.
The Red Caboose Page 410
2. Your memories (500 words each, more or less). For each of these, be sure
to include year and location of event, the names of the people involved. You
are encouraged to contribute several memories.
3. Photographs: Optional although encouraged: These should illustrate the
memories that you have provided. Each should be accompanied by the date,
location, circumstance, and names of the people pictured.
4. Each contributed memory should begin on a separate page.
Send your contributions to John R. Thurston
3752 Cummings Street
Eau Claire, Wisconsin 54701
Those wishing to submit their contributions electronically should send
them, as attachments, to
Deadline for contributions is October 15,2009. The tentative publication
date is late November, 2009. At about that time, each published contributor
will be invited to join in a special celebration where he/she may become
acquainted with fellow contributors, sign/purchase books, and have a good
time. Refreshments will be provided.
If you have any questions or inquiries, please feel very free to contact me at
Please remember that the best time to record memories is when they
happened a long or even a short time ago. The next best time is now.
John R. Thurston 02.16.09
The Red Caboose Page 411
By Dan Holtz
Leader-Telegram staff
ALTOONA Plans for AI-
toona's centennial celebration next
year are rapidly taking shape and
the months-long schedule of events
will begin with a Winter Centennial
Ball Feb. 21.
The city's main celebration is
scheduled for June 12 through 21.
Altoona's centennial committee,
chaired by Betty Passon, has
planned one event each month lead-
ing up to the activities in June.
The centennial ball will be held
at St. Mary's Community Center.
The 32-member Altoona High
School Swing Choir will begin the
evening with a half-hour per-
formance of music from the 1887
era. The "Nice Guys" of Altoona
will perform for the remainder of
the ball.
Ball patrons will be encouraged
to dress in costumes from the 1887
era. For a short time during the
event, Passon said, refreshments
will be sold at 1887 prices.
March's activities will be a curl-
ing tournament at the Eau Claire
County Junior Fairground barns in
Altoona and a hockey tournament
at the Altoona Hobbs Sports
On April 1, tentatively scheduled
at Altoona High School, the city
will celebrate its official birthday.
Invitations to the event will be sent
to state and local elected officials.
Railroad industry officials are also
expected to attend, Passon said.
Speeches will be delivered and
keys to the city will be presented,
she said.
May's centennial activity hasn't
been confirmed, Passon said, but
plans call for Altoona school chil-
dren to sell helium balloons at a
nominal fee to city residents. The
names and addresses of the people
who make the purchases would be
placed inside the balloons. The
balloons would be released at the
same time and the owner of the
balloon traveling the farthest would
receive a prize.
June's 10-day celebration will
begin on June 12 with a Civil War
group, dressed in authentic cos-
tume, shooting off a cannon behind
the Altoona Hobbs Sports Center in
Cinder City Park.
Opening day activities will in-
clude the crowning of a junior
queen, centennial queen and senior
queen, and a teen dance.
Other activities scheduled for the
main celebration, Passon said, in-
clude a local-celebrity golf tourna-
ment, tennis tournament, street
dance, community picnic, an adult
dance, ice cream social, outdoor
concert, and the burial of a time
The celebration's second week-
end, June 19 through 21, will be
run in conjunction with the Altoona
Lions Club's annual Cinder City
Days activities.
Events on the final day of the
celebration will include a large par-
ade and the judging of a beard
growing contest and era attire.
The centennial committee is still
seeking suggestions for the cel-
ebration and needs the help of non-
profit organizations to supervise
some of the events, Passon said.
Committee members are also
planning to put together a booklet
on Altoona's history. They are
seeking information from anyone
on recent or past history of the city
or city residents, Passon said.
Photos are also being sought for the
booklet, she said.
Committee members are request-
ing all materials for the booklet by
Jan. 15, she said.
Centennial committee members
include Passon, Russ Brennan, Ray
Henning, Dave O'Donahoe, Gerald
Hagen, Paul Lenz and Lois Gar-
Ball to kick off Altoona celebration
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Presentation of Colors............................................ Boy Scouts-Troop #90
Pledge of Allegiance......................................Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts
Led by Kelly Lamarr, Tory Buchholtz
Star Spangle Banner ....................................... Altoona High School Band
Directed by Barry Baker
Welcome................................................ Ed Ristow, Master of Ceremony
Mayor's Proclamation ...................................................Mayor Gary Neill
Senator Rodney Moen ............................................... 31st Senate District
(Presented by Betty Passon)
State Representative Richard Shoemaker......................... 29th Assembly
(Presented by Richard Larrabee)
State Representative Mark Lewis.....................................93rd Assembly
(Presented by Gordon Gutsch)
Former State Representative Louis Mato ..................................... Retired
(Presented by Mark Brazzale)
Letters of Congratulations .........................................................Ed Ristow
Altoona High School Band....................Under Direction of Barry Baker
Irish Washerwoman .................................................By Le Roy Anderson
Liberty Bell March ................................................. By John Phillip Sousa
James Zito............................................. Senior Vice President-Operations
With Chicago Northwestern Transportation
(Presented by Richard Larrabee)
John L. Bradshaw............................................... Assistant Vice President
and Division Manager of The Northern District
of Chicago Northwestern Transportation Company
(Presented by Richard Larrabee)
Leonard Haas. .....................................Graduate of Altoona High School
(Presented by Dorothy Finstad)
Einar Pedersen....................... Former Principal of Altoona High School
(Presented by Dorothy Finstad)
Introduction of Special Guests ..................................................Ed Ristow
Dean Nelson............................................Chairman of Town of Seymour
(Presented by Gordon Gutsch)
Dale Southard, Sr.............................. Chairman of Town of Washington
(Presented by Linda Dekan)
Clifford Chatterson .................... Chairman of Eau Claire County Board
(Presented by Linda Dekan)
"Locomotion"............................................................Altoona Swing Choir
(Under Direction of Donald Crane)
The Honorable David L. Janetta.........Mayor of Altoona, Pennsylvania
(Presented by Mark Brazzale)
Brian Johnson.............................................................Altoona Lion's Club
Cheryl Bevins.................................................................... Altoona Jaycees
George McFadden........................................ Altoona Hockey Association
Jerry Coenen ...............................................Altoona Baseball Association
Eric Anderson................................................City Manager of Eau Claire
(Presented by Betty Passon)
Lighting of the Birthday Cake............................ Altoona Women's Club
"Happy Birthday" .......................................Altoona High School Band
Closing .........................................................................................Ed Ristow
Mayor — Gary Neill
President of City Council — Betty Passon
Council Members — Mark Brazzale
Linda Dekan
Dorothy Finstad
Gordon Gutsch
Richard Larrabee
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The Red Caboose Page 415 of 421
The Red Caboose Page 416
Birthday bash
Altoona basks in glow of 100th anniversary
By Dan Holtz
Leader-Telegram staff
ALTOONA — Happy Birthday Altoona!
Several hundred city residents turned out at Al-
toona High School Wednesday night to listen to
presentations, speeches and music honoring Al-
toona's 100th anniversary of its city charter.
Keys to the city were given to state legislators,
railroad luminaries, former residents and officials
from nearby municipalities.
But the star of the event, billed as the Altoona
Centennial Mayor's Proclamation, was David L.
Jannetta, mayor of Altoona, Pa.
Altoona, Wis., was named after the Pennsylvania
Jannetta came loaded with gifts, including cita-
tions from himself and Pennsylvania Gov. Robert
Casey, keys to the city in the shape of railroad
spikes, a Nittany Lion statuette from Penn State
University and a supply of Boyer Mallo Cups,
which are produced in Altoona, Pa.
Jannetta said Altoona, Pa., which received its city
charter status on April 3, 1868, "was built from
ground zero by the Pennsylvania Railroad. It was
the premiere railroad town in the world before
World War II."
In 1940, 17,000 people worked for the railroad in
Atoona, Pa., Jannetta said. "Three out of every
four wage earners worked for the railroad."
The Pennsylvania city, which has a population of
57,000, got its name from the Indian word "Alia-
The Red Caboose Page 417
toona," which means "high land of great worth,"
Jannetta said. Altoona, Pa., lies on the eastern edge
of the Allegheny mountains.
Jannetta explained that his city also is a "great
sports town." The Altoona, Pa., High School
Mountain Lions girl's basketball team won the state
championship in the 1985-86 season and that same
year was rated as the best girl's basketball team in
the nation by USA Today. The team was runner-up
in the state tourney this year, he said.
Jannetta arrived in western Wisconsin Tuesday
night and spent Wednesday touring the Altoona and
Eau Claire areas. He delighted Wednesday night's
gathering when he announced that, "if I couldn't
live in Altoona, Pa., after being here for 24 hours,
I'd sure like to live in Altoona, Wis."
Another highlight of the ceremony was when
Betty Passon, who is president of the Altoona City
Council and chairman of the city's Centennial Com-
mittee, surprised Eau Claire City Manager Eric
Anderson with a special presentation.
Passon gave Anderson a council resolution declar-
ing that Eau Claire has been annexed to Altoona and
has been renamed "West Altoona." She also gave
him with a centennial T-shirt with the message,
"City Manager of West Altoona," displayed on the
Jannetta, Anderson and Altoona, Wis., Mayor
Gary Neill culminated the event by blowing out 100
candles on the centennial birthday cake.
Altoona's main centennial celebration will be held
June 12 through 21.
The Red Caboose Page 418
Row 1 - Front
Edward Gorell
Harold Semisch
Don Woodington
? Sires
Joe Anderson
Row 2
Teacher – Mildred
Virginia Walters-Harris
Carol Larson
Arvis Erickson
Geneva Bucholtz
Margaret Sahr
Jeanetta Heuer
Katherine Whitwam
Harvey Beach
Harold Rusell
Gerald Bersina
Row 3
Evelyn Dobrenz
Dorothy Sahr
Evelyn Connell
Margaret Klingbeil
? Underwood ?
Mary Stahl
Marion Larson
Bernice Klingbeil
Leona Liberty-? Aaron
Row 4 – Back
Jack Duganne ?
Alfred Volkman
? Fitzgerald ?
Edgar ? Sires
Walter Mooney
Harriet Ash
Lloyd Lenz
Josephine Connell
The above student identifications were made by Laura Shemisch-Christy in August of 2009. She stated that “This
photo is of two classes together and my brother Harold is about 8 years old.” Hence, this photo is of two Altoona
Grade School classes in about 1928.
The Red Caboose Page 419
1927 Freshman Class - Altoona High School
Front Row
Bud Loken
Isabelle McDonald
Middle Row
Vernon Green
Howard Metcalf
Emery Wilcox
Back Row
Liz Henning
The Red Caboose Page 420
Circa 1927
Front Row
Emery Wilcox
Howard Metcalf
Middle Row
Isabelle McDonald
Liz Henning
Back Row
Marie Heideman
Bud Locken
Vernon Green
The Red Caboose Page 421
1930 Basketball Team – Altoona High School
Altoona won First Place in Tournament (Chippewa Second and Eau Claire Third)
Coach: Mr. Jensen
Manager: Clifford Turner
Captain: Elmer Garber
Center: Bob McGrouary
Forward: Ted Steinke
Forward: Howard Turner
Guard: Elmer Garber
John Stanley
Verland Anding
Kenneth Sturz
Wash Sahr
Pud Woodington
Cheer Leaders: Art and Liz Burkhart
The Red Caboose Page 422
1936 Graduating Class - Altoona High School
Front Row
Evelyn Connell Leola Underwood Marion Larson Georgine Delmore
Mary Stahl Kathryn Whitwam Virginia Walters Geneva Buckholz
Evelyn Dobreny Florine Butler
Middle Row
Harvey Beach Alfred Radiswitz Billy Burkhardt Harriet Ask
Carol Larson Don Woodington Bruce Peterson
Ellsworth Coss John Harris
Back Row
Carl Beggerow Eddie Gorell James McGovern Alfred Volekman
Bob Williamson Lyle Cowley Class Advisor: Eugene McGovern (Absent)
The Red Caboose Page 423
The Red Caboose Page 424
1937 Graduating Class - Altoona High School
Front Row
Beth Stewart Enva Berg Dorothy Sahr Kathryn Holen
Lucille Lenz Bev McLaughlin Bernice Klingbeil Rosemary Lang
Jeanette Heuer Lorraine Underwood
Middle Row
Walter Williamson Clarence Fischer Marion Tompson Lloyd Lenz
Mae Tompson Harold Russell Gerald Bresina
Back Row
Harold Semisch Joe Anderson Edgar Sires
The Red Caboose Page 425
The Red Caboose Page 426
Circa 1929
Front Row
Esther Steinke Mildred Berg Esther Gilbert Alene Stahl
Lorraine Willman Frances Whitwam Marjorie Neurer
Back Row
Irene Lenz Ila Fleck Elaine Delmore Lois Rock
Jessie Jensen Marion Glode Eunice Coss Marie Gorell
Jane Delmore
The Red Caboose Page 427
Altoona High School Girls Basketball
Marie Garell
Margaret Schilling
Elaine Delmore
Lorraine Willman
Eunice Coss
Marion Glode
Alene Stahl
Ila Flick
The Red Caboose Page 428
Circa 1929
Girls Basketball – Altoona High School
Irene Lenz
Esther Steinke
Esther Gilbert
Katherine McGrouary
Mildred Berg
Marjorie Neuer
Francis Whitwam
Lucile Whitwam
The Red Caboose Page 429
See Spike, see
Spike cheer
Above: "Spike," the new Railroader mascot at
Altoona High School, checked out his costume in
the school weight room last week before the pep
rally at which he was introduced.
Right: Nick Dickerson, the student inside the
costume, showed the Altoona cheerleaders that
"Spike" is capable of copying a few of their moves.
He'll be showing off those moves at 7:30 tonight
when the Altoona girls' basketball team is host to
McDonell Central High School.
Staff photos by Steve Kinderman
The Red Caboose Page 430
Tribute that rocks
Garden at Altoona Middle School to give heroes their due
ALTOONA — Billie Jo
Trachsel showed up in cool
temperatures Monday at Altoona
Middle School ready to dig in —
In front of the school, Trachsel
and more than a dozen other
students and adults attempted to
remove roots and stumps in an area
that eventually will become a
crushed granite path.
“It’s only one day,” said Joanna
Rasmussen, another student
digging diligently at a root system
next to Trachsel, "and this is pretty
Rasmussen was referring to the
planned AMS Community Heroes
Rock Garden, a project that, once
completed, will pay tribute to the
victims of the Sept. 11 tragedy as
well as honor heroes in the local
"I see this as a way to say
thanks," said Jack Wagener, dean
of students, counselor and acting
middle school principal. "A lot of
times we take for granted the
people who are our heroes."
The rock garden, as envisioned
by Altoona staff and students,
spans the front of the middle
school and will create more of a
park like look and feel.
Design plans on display at the
middle school show benches,
picnic tables, an outside chess table
and a covered classroom sur-
rounded by a variety of plantings.
In addition, a new flagpole and
red, white and blue eagle sculpture
are part of the mix being overseen
by Stargazen Woodland Nursery of
Christena T.
• Funds for the AMS Community
Heroes Rock Garden are being raised
by selling engraved bricks for $25.
Donations also can be made to the
project. No district funds are being
used for the project.
For more information call Kathy
Marko at 839-6033 or send an e-mail
rural Augusta.
"If anything, it's going to
beautify the school," Wagener
Middle school students started
tossing around the idea of a rock
garden a few years ago, he said.
However, the project didn't seem to
take shape until terrorists hijacked
four planes Sept. 11, crashing two
into the twin towers of the World
Trade Center, one into the Pentagon
and a fourth in a Pennsylvania field.
Seventh-grade geography teacher
Teri Hanson allowed students to
watch part of the news coverage of
the event on that horrific day and
discussed its impact.
"I think a lot of students were
frightened that day, and they had a
lot of questions about what was
happening there and what would
happen here," she recalled.
Once some of that fright
subsided, students wanted to do
something to help. One of their
efforts included creating a banner
depicting a human flag, a flag
made up by fifth- through eighth-
grade students dressed in red, white
or blue, sitting in school bleachers,
representing either the stars or
stripes. The other consisted of a
The school board gave its
blessing to both, said Ed Bohn,
board president, Altoona alumnus
and project contributor.
"We thought it was a great idea,"
he said. "Everyone was hurt by
Sept. 11, and people were looking
for a way to express themselves
and help others."
The fund-raiser generated
$1,700, said Kola Xiong, outgoing
president of the Student Council.
Of that, $850 was sent to two
schools near the World Trade
Center and another close to the
Pentagon. The remaining funds
were put toward the rock garden,
estimated to cost $15,000 to
Organizers are hoping to raise
the funds through corporate
gifts, donations and the sale of
reddish-brown bricks purchased
See GARDEN, Page 3B
The Red Caboose Page 431
The Red Caboose Page 432
Staff photo by And! Stempnlak
Mega Pick'n Save East employee Jackie Brown, known as Sis,
helped Phyllis Boettcher, 82, of Altoona get groceries Sept. 8. The
store has offered assisted shopping for 5 years.
Editors Note:
Phyllis Boettcher, now deceased, was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gustrom “Gus” Sund
who lived for many years at the northwest corner of the intersection of 10
Street West and
Spooner Avenue. Phyllis graduated from Altoona High School in 1942. Her brother,
George died in the Philippines during World War II.
– John R. Thurston
The Red Caboose Page 433
By Jennifer Schmidt
Leader-Telegram staff
One by one Phyllis Boettcher crossed off
the items noted on her grocery list.
Cheerios? Check. Vitamins? Check.
Macaroni salad?
The only thing
remotely atypical about
the Altoona woman's
weekly grocery run was
that someone else was
doing the shopping.
"Need anything here?"
asked Jackie Brown of
Mega Pick'n Save East as
she wheeled Boettcher past
the health and beauty aisle.
"No," the 82-year-old replied. "OK, then
we'll head over to produce," Brown said
before bagging six peaches for
• Anyone who wants help shopping should
call 836-8700 for an appointment. Times are
available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays
through Thursdays.
her regular customer. Over the years,
Brown has gotten to know the woman's
shopping patterns.
Boettcher got turned on to the assisted
shopping program after receiving one of
Brown's business cards, which invites
patrons to "Let me assist you with your
shopping." Cards are posted near the main
entrance by the grocery carts.
"I like being with people. I've had a
good experience," said Brown, who joined
Mega eight years ago as a bagger. She does
a mixture of jobs now, though the biggest
part of her work involves shopping for peo-
ple. She fills Internet orders as well.
Jenny Rathke, customer service manag-
er, said the store offers assisted shopping as
a service to their elderly and disabled clien-
tele. The program also helps people main-
tain their independence, she said.
'There's just a need for it," Rathke said.
Boettcher, who uses a walker, opted to
use the program because of mobility issues.
"I'm not supposed to be walking on tile
floor ... so I have to have help," said
Boettcher, wearing a bandage on her right
shin from a May fall. She also had hip
The assisted shopping program and
Brown's helpful hands fill a great need, she
"I don't know how I'd get groceries if I
couldn't come here and have her do it,"
said Boettcher, noting that her husband,
Helmuth, is in a nursing home.
Other Eau Claire grocery stores, includ-
ing Copp's Food Center and Festival
Foods, also offer assisted shopping.
Schmidt can be reached at 830-5840 or
Willing to help
Stores assist customers with shopping needs
Eau Claire
The Red Caboose Page 434
Ralph Ely of Altoona recounted some of his stories from World War II as part of the
Veterans History Project. Videos of the experiences of veterans are being sent to the
Library of Congress.
The Red Caboose Page 435
Above: Kyle Kraemer revisited the Altoona neighborhood Monday where he piloted
this airplane to an emergency landing the previous evening. "It's amazing we didn't
crash into something," Kraemer said. "I'm grateful just to be alive." Below:
Workers Monday afternoon helped guide the airplane onto a
Staff photos by Steve Kinderman
trailer after the aircraft was removed from the front yard of Gary and LouAnn Best
Sunday. The plane was transported to Menomonie Aviation, where Federal
Aviation Administration officials will study it to determine why the air-plane lost
The Red Caboose Page 436
Passenger says skills, luck
led to safe landing
By Jennifer Schmidt and Julian Emerson
Leader-Telegram staff
ALTOONA — Kyle Kraemer's
mind raced as fast as the 1962 Piper he
was flying was descending toward the
ground after losing power Sunday
"At that point I knew we were in real
trouble," said Kraemer, a 20-year-old
UW-Stout student who obtained his
pilot's license in February. "It was
scary. I realized it might not be pretty."
As the plane neared Altoona; it lost
altitude quickly. It barely cleared a
wooded hill just south of Altoona public
schools before missing a light pole along
the football field. It then snapped one
set of power lines, dipped below another
and clipped bushes and trees before
sliding to
a halt just a few feet from a house at the
corner of Fourth Street and Hayden
"It was surreal," the 20-year-qld
Radel, a Spring Green native, said of
the last few moments before the plane
dropped. "It was like you were
watching a movie or something."
Kraemer, a 20-year-old from
Plain, admitted he was nervous as
the crisis unfolded.
"I think I did pretty well. You kind
of practice this stuff in training," said
Kraemer, who started flying on his 19th
Kraemer knew he and Radel were in
trouble when the airplane lost power
about five miles south of its destination,
the Chippewa Valley Regional Airport.
Landing at the airport was no longer an
See CRASH, Page 3B
Kraemer and his
passen-ger, boyhood
friend and UW-Eau
Claire student
Jeremiah Radel,
walked away from the
landing unharmed.
"I tried to use the
streetlights as a guide,"
Kraemer said of his
about 7:15 p.m. "I was pra
was nothing in the way."
Radel said two factors helped the
friends cheat death: good luck and
good flying.
"I give Kyle a lot of credit," the UW-
Eau Claire junior said of his best
The 2002 graduates of River Valley
High School in Spring Green left Lone
Rock for Eau Claire around 6 p.m.
The Red Caboose Page 437
public places in the City of Al-
toona, at night, after the hour of 9
o'clock p. m., from April 1st to
October 31st, inclusive of each
year, and from November 1st to
March 31st, inclusive of each year,
An ordinance prohibiting per-
sons under sixteen years of age
from being on the streets, alleys or
after the hour of 8 o'clock p. m.
The Common Council of the City of
Altoona, Wis., do ordain as fol-
Section 1. It is hereby made un
lawful for any persons under six-
teen years of age to be or remain
in or upon any of the streets, al-
leys or public places in the City of
Altoona, at night, after the hour
of 9 o'clock p. m. from April 1 to
October 31, inclusive of each year,
and from November 1 to March 31,
inclusive of each year, after the
hour of 8 o'clock p. m., unless such
person is accompanied by parent,
guardian or other person having
legal custody of such minor per-
son. \
Section 2. It is hereby made un-
lawful for any parent, guardian or
other person, having legal care
and custody of any person, under
sixteen years of age, to allow or
permit any such child, ward or
other person under such age, while
in such legal custody, to go or be
in or upon any of the streets, alleys
or public places in said city within
the time prohibited in section one
(1) of this ordinance, unless there
exists a reasonable necessity
therefor. Any person violating the
provisions of this section shall, on
conviction, be fined any, sum not
exceeding twenty-five dollars
($25.00) and stand committed until
such fine and costs are paid.
Section 3. Each member of the
police force, while on duty, is here-
by authorized and instructed to ar-
rest without warrant, any person
willfully violating the provisions of
section one (1) of this ordinance.
The person or persons so arrested
shall, for a first violation of this
ordinance be taken or sent by the
officer to their homes, and their
parents or guardians notified of
such violation of this ordinance;
upon a subsequent violation of the
provisions of this ordinance, the
person or persons so arrested shall
be taken or sent home by the of-
ficer and the parents or guardians
served with subpoenas to appear in
court with the person or persons so
arrested and show cause why the
ordinance has been a second time
violated. If no sufficient excuse
therefore is offered, the parents or
guardians shall be fined according to
the provisions of section two (2).
It shall be the duty of any police
officer arresting such child or
minor person, if the said child or
minor person either has no home or
address of such home or guardian
to give to the police officer, to
place such child or minor person in
the care of the sheriff of the County
of Eau Claire. All due, diligence
shall be used by the officer so
arresting such person, liable under
this ordinance, to find I parents or
guardians responsible for such
minor persons. Pending necessary
investigations, such minor charges
shall not be detained in | custody by
the sheriff more than ten (10)
Section 4. It shall be the duty of the
Justice of the Peace, upon the arrest of
any child or minor person for
violating the provisions of section one
(1) of this ordinance, to inquire into
the facts of said arrest and the
conditions and circumstances of such
child or minor person, and if it shall
appear that such child or minor person
for want of proper parental care is
growing up in mendicancy and
vagrancy and is incorrigible, cause the
proper proceedings to be had and
taken as authorized and provided by
law in such cases.
Section 5. It shall be the duty of the
city council to arrange, designate and
provide for the regular sounding at
the hours mentioned in section one
(1) hereof of such signals as shall be
necessary to fully warn the children
upon the streets and different parts
of the city, to depart to their homes.
Section 6. This ordinance shall
become effective and in force on"
and after its passage and publica-
tion, as provided by law.
Passed July 1, 1924.
Ordinance approved July 1, 1924.
Mayor. Attest:
LUKE HAYDEN, JR., City Clerk.
The Red Caboose Page 438
Thurston Wins
Praise at Dinner
"Nice work, Fuzzy."
That was the tribute paid
: by Altoona boosters and
Green Bay Packer fans
to F r e d (Fuzzy) Thur-
ston at an appreciation din-
ner at Scott's Supper Club
Sunday night.
The, former Altoona High
athlete, now a 255 - pound
all-National Football League
offensive guard for the cham-
pion Packers, received lav-
ish praise and a set of golf
clubs from his well - wishers.
He was also presented the
first Altoona High football let-
ter sweater (size 52) by a
school which has never had a
grid team. His wife, Sue, re-
ceived an Altoona cheerleader
have a
football team in the not-too-
distant future, it was indicat-
ed at the dinner.
Harold Harris, president of
,the Altoona Businessmen's
Assn., said that the school is
considering a football p r o-
gram. Small enrollment, now
only 139 students, has p r e-
cluded a football team in the
Harris proposed that the
site for Altoona's future
football team be named
Fuzzy Thurston Field. He
reported after the dinner that
several hundred dollars had
been pledged to develop the
Einar Pederson, Altoona
High principal, served as
toastmaster. He was Thur-
ston's coach as a sophomore.
Mayor Sherman Paudson of
Altoona spoke of Thurston as
a wonderful example of a
person who reached the goal
he had set for himself.
Art Henning, New March of
Dimes chairman, p r a i s e d
Thurston's effort in the fund-
raising telethon last weekend.
Thurston and three Packer
teammates, Bart Starr, Lew
Carpenter, and Gary Knafelc,
took part.
High coach, presented the
letter sweaters to Thurston
and his wife. She is the
former Sue Eggleston.
Tom Lehman, who coached
Thurston in basketball as a
junior and senior, called him
the best football player from
the whole state of Wisconsin.
Other speakers included
former teammates and
friends Neil Woodington,
Dennis Reiter, Jack Musolf,
Gene Musolf and Harold
Semisch. Darrell Woodington
presented the set of golf
Thurston thanked the many
Altoona friends who had
helped him along the way to
stardom in college and
professional football ranks.
"You can do anything if
you have the desire," said the
burly former-Railroader.
Thurston said he believes the
Packers will be champions
for a long time to come.
The Red Caboose Page 439
Staff photo by Dan Reiland
Bill Underwood of Altoona knows the reality of war. In 1943 he was drafted into service, leaving
behind his family and an apprenticeship as a railroad machinist. In those days war seemed to
matter more to people, said Underwood. But today the interest in over-seas conflicts just doesn't
seem to be as intense, he said.
The Red Caboose Page 440
Veterans notice
attitude change in
modern "war"
By Christena T. O'Brien Leader-Telegram staff
ALTOONA — Bill Underwood has made an effort to keep
up on news of the fighting in Yugoslavia.
He tunes into television reports.
He listens to the radio.
And he reads the newspaper.
For him, those accounts bring back the sights, sounds and
smells of more than 50 years ago when he fought in World War
But Underwood doesn't believe people are as interested in the
war in Yugoslavia and other overseas conflicts in recent years as
they were in World War II and Vietnam.
"We felt once the (Japanese) struck Pearl Harbor, we had to
protect our country," said Underwood, a 75-year-old veteran
who fought with the 1,877th Company A Aviation Battalion in
World War II.
"People now just don't seem to be interested," he said. "I
think they're fed up with all these little scrimmages."
NATO began airstrikes on
Yugoslavia Wednesday. The
war between ethnic Albanians
and Yugoslav forces has been
going on for a year in the
Eastern European region of
Like Underwood, Paulis
Lazda, a history professor at the
University of Wisconsin-Eau
Claire, said the attitudes among
Americans on this and
other recent conflicts is different today.
"There is very little passion there," said Lazda, who has
taught for 30 years. "For most people it is somewhat surreal."
Lazda partially attributes a lack of realism in the United
States to a lack of understanding on the part of Americans.
"Many people do not understand what the war in Kosovo is
about," said Lazda, a native a Latvia. "I can assure you it is real.
It is a source of pain and suffering."
He said knowing the United States has professional soldiers
who are trained for battle also takes away from the realism of
recent conflicts.
That hasn't always been the case.
In 1943 Underwood was drafted, about a year after graduat-
ing from Altoona High School.
He wasn't alone. Husbands, sons, brothers, cousins and
uncles were drafted to fight in the war credited by historians
with destroying more property and killing more people than any
other war in history.
But those who were left behind at home didn't have it easy.
The Red Caboose Page 441
Staff photo by Steve Kinderman
Rites of spring
Fred Underwood, 1816 Valmont Ave., applies fertilizer to the lawn of a
neighbor on Monday. Like most people, Underwood said he is hoping
for a good soaking rain to help things green up.
The Red Caboose Page 442
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“Cinder City” Rode The Rails to Prosperity
The Community Times – Monday, August 19, 1985
by Jane Hieb
Nearly 10,000 people were on
hand to welcome the first train to
Eau Claire County. Beginning in
1856 rumors of rails and prosperity
had circulated widely ;
throughout Northwestern Wiscon-
sin, but it wasn't until 1870 that
the rumors became fact.
The coming of the; railroads
played an important role in the
development of many small towns
in Wisconsin.
In 1881 two houses were all
that marked a small settlement on
the sand prairie east of the tough
little lumber hamlet of Eau
Claire, Wisconsin.
Named East Eau Claire
originally, the area blossomed
rapidly when the Chicago, St.
Paul, Minneapolis, and Omaha
Railroad (Chicago and Nor-
thwestern) established a machine
shop and roundhouse there.
In the next year another ten
houses appeared and the name of
the thriving settlement was chang-
ed to Altoona, presumably after a
railroad town in Pennsylvania.
The “baby city” as the town was
often referred to, continued to
grow. By 1887 the founding
fathers were granted a charter to
form a city government. Shortly
after, a mayor and four city Coun-
cilmen were elected. ,1
At one time both passenger and
freight trains traveled the rails
through Altoona.
Gerald Hagen, former mayor of
Altoona, and state director for the
United Transportation Union, has
studied the history of the railroads
for many years.
"In the ‘hey day’ of the
railroads the Chicago-St. Paul-
Minneapolis-Omaha had over
19,000 miles of track, today there
are 6,000 miles." Hagen
"By 1914 there was also a street
car connecting Altoona with Eau
Claire and Chippewa Falls. Al-
toona had 2 hotels, 5 saloons, a
grocery and dry goods store, three
churches, and a school system,"
Hagen said.
Much of the growth the city of
Altoona experienced during those
early years centered around the
railroad, according to Hagen.
Today with over 5,000
residents, Altoona is still growing.
By the year 2000 city planners are
expecting nearly 10,000 residents.
"We have lots of raw land and
better proximity to the major
shopping area's in Eau Claire than
many families who live on the
other edges of Eau Claire," Hagen
Altoona residents are especially
proud of their school system.
"In my 11 years here in Al-
toona, I've been constantly im-
pressed with the excellent com-
munity support shown for the
academic and extra-curriculum
activities of the school,'' Ed
Ristow, Altoona's High School
Principal said.
"I believe we're one of the only
two schools in the state with a long
range curriculum plan from
kindergarten to the 12th grade to
go with our computer program."
Ristow explained.
At one time, many years ago,
there was some consideration
given to consolidating the Altoona
School System with Eau Claire.
But according to both Hagen and
Ristow that will never happen.
"The people here are fiercely
protective and very dedicated to
the Altoona High School System,
Hagen said. And Hagen believes
the people in Altoona seem also
dedicated to protecting and presser-
ving the "small town U.S.A.";
"We're a bedroom community,
with no large industries, but
there's a lot of city pride here in
Altoona, it's a good place to live!"
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GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY — Mr. and Mrs. William
Gloede, Altoona, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary
with an open house at their home Sunday, Oct. 19. About
150 guests attended the event. The couple was married
Oct. 17, 1908, in St. John's Lutheran Church in the Town
of Lincoln and have resided in Altoona since their mar-
riage. Gloede was a locomotive engineer for the C.N.W.
Railroad until his retirement two years ago. The Gloedes
have two children, David, of Altoona, and Mrs. Paul
Marshall, of Fort Dodge, Iowa, and three grandchildren.
The Red Caboose Page 447
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Dick Thurston driving to the basket with Chuck Rasmussen looking on.
Altoona school and basketball photos supplied by courtesy
of Robert Thompson
Dick Thurston laying up an easy